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(Immigration) Do you have to be an attorney to file for Criminal Relief on behalf of someone based on ineffective counsel?

Los Angeles, CA |

I am interested in exploring the possibility of Criminal Relief for my Fiance'. He plead guilty to Robbery in 2010 and served a 3 year sentence. He was not properly notified by his criminal attorney of the adverse possibilities of him accepting the plea. He is currently being held in El Centro Processing while facing removal proceedings to Belize. Is there something that can be done to prevent this? His next court date is May 6 which has been noted his master hearing, so I am trying to find assistance quickly as time is running rapidly. Thank you in advance for your time and assistance.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Best answer

    The problems your fiancee faces are multiple, not the least why so much time has passed since conviction. Only an attorney can file the appropriate motion on his behalf but it would be an uphill battle.

    I have had success with these motions but much depends on the case history. I invite you to call me for a free consultation if you wish at 213-324-4206.

  2. It may be possible to seek to vacate the Robbery conviction and obtain a stay in the immigration matter. However, you must understand that success here is not only fact-driven, but also extraordinary and, therefore, less likely to succeed than to fail. However, feel free to contact my law firm to discuss representation of your fiance. You are correct that time is running out. You need to hire counsel now.

    The information provided herein does not create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided is to suggerst some general principles and should not be relied upon for client decisions. Only upon the hiring of counsel can such advice be custom-tailored to the client's specific situation and needs.

  3. While it is possible to have a conviction reversed for failure to properly advise a client as to potential immigration consequences, do understand that the charges would just be reinstated and he would essentially be starting from square one. The criminal charges would not be dismissed. Furthermore, when a judge takes a plea, they usually inform the client that the plea could result in their being deported and denied admission to the United States or naturalization as a United States citizen. By the way, I hear Belize is a nice place. Lots of American go to retire there.

    The information and legal suggestions made herein do not in any way create an attorney-client relationship. The responses provided herein discuss general principles of law and should not be relied upon by the asker in making legal decisions. Only an attorney who has met with the asker and fully reviewed the facts and circumstances of the asker's individual case should be relied upon for legal advice. If you find my suggestions helpful, please mark the appropriate box as helpful.

  4. You absolutely have to have an attorney file this and you haven't much time. There are only a few grounds to have the conviction reversed and you identified one of the issues. These are not easy motions to win, but if your fiance is facing deportation you have no other choice but to try to vacate the plea. These are complex motions. We have had people in similar situations, in immigration custody, released and their convictions over turned on much older cases. But each case if fact dependent. You also need competent immigration counsel. We can provide both resources.

    Brian Michaels
    Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney

  5. That requires a motion under PC 1016.5, for which there is no time limit, but either the defendant himself or an attorney must file it, and you must find an attorney who understands the subtleties of such motions [and not all criminal lawyers do]. If he was insufficiently advised of the immigration consequences, and those consequences have now come to roost, a 1016.5 motion would be granted by a judge who knows what he is doing.

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